Mosaics, mazes, and DBJ charting meet Numbers, GIMP 2

I shared some working methods to achieve these color separations in 2019/06/29/mosaics-and-maze…numbers-and-gimp/. Mosaics and Mazes came on my radar once more recently, Numbers and Gimp have both been updated, and a few more ideas have occurred to me for managing the necessary color separations. The process as described here assumes that there already is some understanding of Gimp’s and a spreadsheet’s basic functions. These are 2 more samples from Barbara Walker’s book on mosaics, offering the repeats in both a 16 stitch wide and a 24 stitch versions. It is always a good idea after isolating the repeat to tile it in order to get a sense of how multiples line upI was lazy about doing that with the first version of the colored repeat in Numbers and got the result in this swatch  due to a missing black cellThe second try
Beginning with the long method to create the design repeat in the color separation suitable for elongated dbj: the built-in color separation in most Japanese machines for DBJ (179 and color reverse in Passap) will knit each color in each design row only once, as happens on the single bed in knitting fair isle, which in turn is far quicker to knit in that setting than by using slip stitch with color changes every 2 rows. The first preselection row is from the left to the right, the first color knits once before colors are changed every 2 rows.
The dbj color separation that knits in each color for each design row twice begins with preselection from the right and continues with color-changing every 2 rows. The produced image will be twice as long as the original design, not desirable for keeping the aspect ratio as close to the original as possible, but a necessity in creating some alternative types of fabrics.
To start, create a table, making certain that cells are square, equal in size in height, and width. I prefer 20 X20 or more when working with small repeats. The zoom factor can be adjusted, increased for more visibility, and reduced prior to screen grabs that are planned to be further processed in Gimp. At less than 75% while creating charts, adding numbers or text, and sometimes changing the qualities of individual cells is harder to achieve. Large-size images may be scrolled through during the formatting process The working design repeat is 16X16. Create a new table that is 16 cells wide, twice its height, 32.  While holding down the command key, select all the odd-numbered rows planned for the final chart repeat, any errors can be corrected by clicking again on the same spot, still holding the key down. The process may be done in steps, releasing the key in between selecting groups  Choose the hide rows option, hiding 16 rows, Fill in cells the chosen 2 colors Add a column to the table. It will be colored, select the column and choose the no color fill option for it, then resize far wider by clicking and dragging the symbol 
at the upper table right to allow for copying and pasting the full repeat more than once.
Select the chosen repeat in 2 colors, copy and paste it to its right. The rows are re-numbered in the new “chart” thus providing a new set of even/odd-numbered rows. On the new odd-numbered rows, select by holding the command key, choose black squares on each now odd-numbered row, and used no color cell fill option to render them white. Release the key at any point to work on gradually selected groups of cells.  If there is an error, while still holding the command key click on the individual cell or cell group again to erase the action, continue the process. Again, holding the command key selectively, on even-numbered rows add colored cells immediately above any empty cells in the row below.  It could be done all in black, but for me, that becomes difficult to keep accurate when separating large repeats. With some familiarity with spreadsheet creation, this can be fairly quick work. Copy and paste the table content once more. In the new table holding down the command key, on even-numbered rows change colored squares to black resulting in the repeat on the far right. The latter in turn will need to be doubled in height once more prior to knitting the final fabric, whether in the software or by the machine in the downloaded design To produce the .bmp file: copy and paste only the BW portion of the above table once more. Using the cell format option, remove all interior borders,  and if you prefer an outside guide, add an exterior border try zoom at 75% zoom, screengrab the table content, with an added blank border surrounding it, import the result into Gimp. Choose crop to content, that will eliminate the extra white space around the image The final image needs to be double-height, so using the scale option choose image scale to 16 by 64 using the broken chain link prior to entering your numbers. These were my steps in scaling, I always check one more time for image size prior to saving. That is reflected in the last pair of numbers, with the now intact chain link symbol

When I first used Gimp I devised and explained this method for mosaic color separations in prior posts.  The expectation in working with such repeats is that on any rows there will be no more than 2 white squares marked side by side. On odd-numbered rows in the separation, the contrasting color squares slip, while on even-numbered rows the black squares slip. On odd-numbered rows, the main color (black squares) knits, on even-numbered rows the contrast color knits.
I think of row one/ odd rows as needing to knit black squares, row 2, and even rows having to knit white squares rather than marking in the traditional manner for slipped stitches on each row. I now have found a far quicker alternative to color separate for mosaic knitting using only GimpWorking on the black and white indexed repeat, use a magnification of at least 1800X. Using the rectangle select tool choose every other row beginning with the second one in the chart. That row will be highlighted by a white dotted line. Choosing will swap black and white cells in that row. Continue the process on every other row. It is not necessary to select the tool each time, as you advance and select the next row, the one just left remains briefly outlined in white dashes, making it easier to advance correctly in the design.
Import the black and white table, process as described, scaling for my final image to 16X32: This repeat posed by a quandary. The file may be used as-is and doubled in length after download. For doubling the height in Numbers, prior to importing the final screengrab into gimp, please see post:  2021/01/27/mosaics-and-mazes-charting-meet-numbers-gimp-3/
Because of my personal preference for not using elongation when knitting pieces in these techniques, I tested doubling height in Gimp with no success at all. However, I was successful in doing so using 2 paint programs, both available for free download for Mac. The first has an amazing range of features, including the illustrated resizing options https://www.arahne.si/products/arahpaint/

and https://paintbrush.sourceforge.io/downloads/, which allows for scaling by percentages or pixels Comparing the results for the elongated repeat, errors in the first are obvious, there should be no white squares anywhere repeating for more than 2 rows Proof of concept A review of a design from 2012/10/15/mosaics-and-mazes-from-design-to-pattern/, separated this new way the repeat charted in Numbers tiled for repeat alignment check, revealed errors that will result in missing colored squares in the final fabric, which may not be noticed until after eyeballs have had a rest. The amended repeat was color separated working in indexed black and white and shown compared with the punchcard  Here the final .bmp  repeat is also compared with the color image in the previous post. It will need to be doubled in length for use with the color changer, the first preselection row is from right to left. End needle selection will ensure that each color knits the first and last needle on each side of the piece. Another very quickly separated repeat copied from 2015/10/03/working-with-generated-mazes-charting-1/

adapted for maze knitting, eliminating long floats, to be lengthened to double-height drawn double-height via a paint program Because there are no more than 2 white squares on top of each other, and no two side by side, I tested the pattern in tuck stitch, which produced some added texture. I had a major aargh moment with yarn where dropped stitches are seen at the top of the swatch Using the maze generator by Laura Kogler, the larger BMP newly created with the program was imported into Gimp, explored in two renditions, eliminating double lines in the one on the right The proof of concept swatch for the version on the right, knit in tuck stitch the double-length BMP ready for knitting,  14X68

Designing your own motifs in expanded graphs: start with a template for either of the 2 grids shown below,  and fill cells in or remove them. Remember these charts, unless knitted as machine or software separated dbj, will require a careful color separation.  Beginning ideas for motifs, borders, and alphabets

A collection of previous posts on this topic in reverse chronological order
2019/06/29/mosaics-and-maze…numbers-and-gimp/
2015/10/21/working-with-gen…-gimp-charting-2/
2015/10/03/working-with-gen…mazes-charting-1/
2012/10/15/mosaics-and-maze…design-to-pattern/
2013/05/06/mosaics-and-mazes-drawing-motifs/
2012/10/15/mosaics-and-maze…design-to-pattern/
2012/09/22/mosaic-and-maze-…-on-the-machines/

Daisyknits Brother compatibility charts and history

The website http://www.daisyknits.com/ is no longer available, nor have I been able to find it using https://archive.org/web/.  I have written the associated email asking for permission to share the information below several weeks ago, and have not received a response. The information given is highly valuable, I am sharing it here exactly as it was presented in 2008 and 2007 by its author

Addendum: this information is from a Chinese commercial site, not fact-checked or edited in any way For Silver Reed and more, see knitting-machine-history-and-information-silver-reed/

Binary alphabet knitting patterns

There are moments while surfing the net that trigger memories of long ago popular knitting patterns. One such is the piano scarf, usually knit double bed. For a while, knit QR codes, or even bar codes were “the thing”. Decades ago, long before online converters and easily available information, there were a few articles on converting alphabets to binary codes for knitting. Far more recent versions with different interpretations: using ones and zeros for pattern,  hand-knit  https://knitty.com/ISSUEwinter06/PATTbinary.html  A collection of machine-knit versions https://knithacker.com/2017/03/sam-meechs-  knitted-binary-scarves/I prefer the more abstract to the literal interpretation using numbers, happen to have a 12 letter first name, and thought I would go for converting it. Because of the number of letters involved, the repeat would of necessity have to be a vertical one. I used 2 converters to double-check the result, noticing that when one of the letters repeats, the code for each of the 2 letters is slightly different. Of the many choices, I used these converters https://www.prepostseo.com/tool/text-to-binary-converter,  and https://www.convertbinary.com/text-to-binary/
Each letter is converted to 8 digits, making results easily adaptable for punchcard use. 01000001 01101100 01100101 01110011 01110011 01100001 01101110 01100100 01110010 01101001 01101110 01100001. My spreadsheet in Numbers refused to allow me to enter the 0s at the start of each sequence, so the 0 has its own column, and in the larger chart, it is illustrated as a blank vertical row The problem if such repeats are used for fair isle knitting is that the results are likely to separate along those long vertical lines and to curl to the purl side even if blocked flat to start with. Converting the pattern for use on the double bed with any DBJ technique and backing is the better solution. My results, with letters from the bottom up Programming the width of the number of needles to be used for the “scarf”, allows for the addition of a border stitch (or more) on either side. Start the base with and use the dark color for your first knit row from right to left in most of the automatic 2 color separations.  Here is a tentative 72+1 stitch version If numbers are your preference, with a bit of playing around digits may be adjusted in width and height going a bit bolder, the 8 individual letters as numbers could repeat horizontally across each design row. A repeat for the letter AX2 planned for the first segment of an 82 stitch wide scarf, with the number of knit rows between each letter group started at 5. An attempt to visualize the final look using only the letter A.
G carriages may be used to knit the same patterns in knit and purl stitch combinations. 

Automated shapes across rows of knitting using slip stitch only

WORK IN PROGRESS

Full automation of “held” shapes using slip stitch alone is possible, involves careful planning of the design repeat, an understanding of necessary sequences in “holding” techniques, and results in large, long repeats for recurring shapes.
The starting side for preselection rows varies depending on the design.
Pattern knitting is worked with both cam buttons set to slip, end needle selection must be canceled.
All stitches on the knitting bed must be cleared with each pass of the carriage from side to side.
As shapes grow, test periodically for any yarn loops accidentally caught on the gate pegs.
The overall downloaded program needs to include repeats planned for the number of stitches in work on the needle bed. This is the standard requirement for Ayab, on my 930 the default img2track programming is for a single motif.
If working on an odd number of needles, whether the needle selection is pushed to the right or left of center varies depending on the brand of machine used and changes if horizontal mirroring of the design is added.
It is helpful  to begin with small, narrow repeats for practice. Assorted samples from previous posts:
a ruffle also using the garter bar a couple of zig-zags only one of many pleat variations that may be enlarged and planned for the width of the bed in knitting items such as sideways skirts repeats planned for texture bumps and slits shell shapes Testing the idea on a limited width with small intended shapes helps one iron out errors in logic or knitting sequences,  I prefer to start with a colored chart, making it easier to follow movements of the yarn, carriages, and color changes The chart was then loaded in Gimp, the Mode changed to bitmapped B/W, and the image then scaled to the final width of 74 X 96. For this exercise, I chose to keep the shapes equal distances apart (marked in green), mirrored the image on my 930 to produce the shapes in the same direction. In this instance, as is often encountered in lace knitting, an odd number of rows between repeat segments will allow for the carriage to start from the opposite side in order to reverse the direction of the shaps. The first preselection row may start from either side depending on whether the downloaded image is mirrored or not, whether by intention or automatically by the machine model’s auto settings. The default isolation in img2track is fine, ayab knitters are required to program the repeat in width to match the number of needles in use, so this would work for both I did run into an operator problem: had managed to save the repeat so rather than being all B/W there was a single row of color at its base, which caused mispatterning only when that #1 design row was knit.
With that amended, the selection problem was eliminated The same shapes always starting on the same edge A will distort that edge. Extra rows of the alternate color can vary shapes of the striping between them. Single shape rows could be floated much farther apart on solid ground, or one to which other colors or techniques are added, and finally, the reversing shapes produce a more balanced height at both sides.

Single bed tuck/ mostly slip stitch fabrics 3

As with the tuck stitch, the knit carriage ignores the needles that are not selected in the pattern. All holes in a punchcard, black squares, or black pixels in electronic programming knit. A great deal of dimensionality may be achieved since the tuck restriction of the maximum amount of yarn being held in the hooks of the nonselected needles does not apply. The effects on the width and length of the fabric vary depending on the number of needles ignored in the pattern. If slipping in long vertical areas, the yarn that is held in the non selected stitch(es) needs to be held for that long without breaking. Multiple colors per row patterns may in some cases require specific color separations, but as usual, a good place to start is with published patterns.

Stitch formation: the needle that is not worked holds a stitch that gets longer until that spot on the needle bed is selected again, resulting in a knit stitch being formed in that location with the next carriage pass. Floats are formed between knit stitches as the held stitches are skipped. The height and width of the bars created by unpunched squares or white squares or pixels need not be fixed and may be extended in both height and width, breaking tuck rules. Many patterns are impactful both with the use of single-color yarns or with color changes. With color changes, the elongated stitch carries its color up in that location on the knit side until it gets knit off (not always or necessarily in the same color).
Here stitches are held for 4 rows,  a planned color change on the next row would require needles that had been skipped, marked in red, being pre-selected forward for knitting back toward the color changer and returning to the previous or next planned color selection In textured knitting, fiber choice can be significant. It is best to use a yarn with some memory, such as wool. If yarns such as acrylics or rayons are used and in turn are pressed the fabric may become permanently flattened, which is not desirable unless it is a purposeful design choice.
Depending on the KM brand, the space between slipped repeats may be altered. In some cases, no matter what the programming method, and especially when using multiple colors, the length of the required repeats may grow exponentially no matter what machine is being used.

It is possible to use slip stitch in only one direction to create knitted cords, often referred to as i-cords. The technique is sometimes the introduction to using the stitch type. Used for all over patterning the possibilities for textures and 3D effects and shaping are endless.
Slip stitch patterns tighten the work widthwise, as well as shorten it in length. To achieve more drape in the resulting knit use a tension dial number 2 higher than that used in stocking stitch for the same yarn.
To retain a flatter fabric shape off the machine it may be best to slip no more than 2 side by side stitches. The number of rows for which stitches are slipped contributes to density. Some of the single bed patterns may be used double-bed as well, but the discussion here is for single bed patterning.
Some repeat ideas for working with diagonals from a punchcard reference, and one from the factory basic pack supplied with machines: Remember that punchcards knit the image as viewed on the purl side of the fabric, so to match swatch photos given in published pattern books, the same repeat, unless it is perfectly symmetrical,  will usually need to be mirrored horizontally for use in electronic machines.
Similar shapes to the above, arranged differently: in A,  arrows point to punched holes that create a vertical line containing 2 slipped rows followed by 2 knit ones, B is problematic because the long vertical white lines would mean the stitches corresponding to those locations on the needle bed would slip for the height of the punchcard, C is B color reversed to solve the problem, and suitable for slip-stitch knitting. An alternative for using B as is would be to have needles not selected in those all blank locations out of work on the main bed creating ladders (or transferred down to and in use on the ribber). As in any pattern knitting, if needles on the top bed are out of work, end needle selection must be canceled. If it is not, the needles adjacent to out of work needles will knit on every row, altering the planned pattern.
The same shapes can be edited for use after rotating the original The 24 stitch repeat for the bottom option is shown, punchcard knitters would have to punch the height x4. The minimum electronic repeat highlighted with a red border tiling to check the alignment of the 8X10 repeatMore repeats using similar lines, varying in density and consequently in their height:  all knit rows (no white squares) make for easy to recognize color change possibilities and transitions other possibilities using checks rather than solid lines When evaluating published repeats, keep in mind the basics; these are suitable for electronic KMs that will allow for color reverse punchcard knitters would have to punch white squares, resulting in this arrangement The knit side is not necessarily always interesting. With knit stripes in a different color breaking up the textured segments a secondary pattern will begin to emerge. A closer look at the samples below reveals one repeat is actually the other, drawn double length. This is an easy option, even in punchcard machines. When knitting long pieces especially, however, I prefer not to use double length built-in features, finding it easier to sort out where I am in terms of design rowss if errors occur

Returning to a couple of the tuck stitch illustrations, adjusting the repeats for use with the slip stitch setting. Some of the color change sequences are suggested on the right side of the charts The tuck stitch version,
modifying it for use in slip stitch B, adding all knit rows between repeats A, and visualizing color placements on the knit side of the fabric.   Depending on your machine ie Passap Duo requires 40 stitches punched repeats or modifying for electronics, vertical black columns or additional white squares may be added to the original design repeat units. The corresponding cells are filled with the color gray Testing the waters: a swatch using 4 colors,  beginning with color changes every 6 rows, ending at the top with every 2, more variations are possible.I have begun including .pngs with some of my posts. Check that your import method does not automatically change the mode to RGB. It is a common problem with such grabs from FB. If that happens, index the image to B/W and save again before using it in download to KM software.
Making those shapes move: color striping variations for using 3 or 2 colors are seen on the right of the chart. The final surface may also work very well in a single color The resulting swatch is shown sideways for the sake of space. I usually begin tests with some striped knitting so I can be certain the color changer is threaded properly, that each color gets picked up without crossing or other issues and that tension for any one color is not in conflict with that used with remaining colors. I am not a fan of the Brother single bed color changer, but it is a great convenience in fabrics such as these. A reminder when using it: add a lace extension rail on the left side. The carriage needs to clear the color changer far enough on its left for all colors to be picked up and changed properly From long design studio inspiration swatches: the secondary shapes are created by varying the number of rows in the color change rotation and placement, the bottom swatch shows the purl side of part of the completed length. Float counts can help duplicate the repeat or color placements if notes are skipped during knitting. Working with multiple slip stitch “bars”: this shows my punchcard, marked with color changes once the final rotation was decided, remembering to begin markings 7 rows up from the bottom for Brother (5 for Studio).  This design produces a fabric that is fairly flat on both sides: the .png is in the same orientation as the punchcard repeat, which you can see is produced with shapes reversed on the knit side in the swatches below it. Instructions on how the repeat was converted to .bmp for download using Gimp in post The working chart, along with an effort to visualize the location of possible color changes in order to create secondary patterns. Color changing on  “wrong rows” or starting preselection from the left rather than the right will result in random, not necessarily successful designs  This swatch segment illustrates the possibility of removing the slipped stitches from the needle bed and bringing them to the purl side, rehanging them on the same needles, bringing all needles out to hold before executing the next all knit row. The “floats” at the bottom of the swatch are from threads that were missed and not brought to the back of the slipped stitches

Attempting to visualize color changes using a larger, staggered repeat which makes more sense when the image is tiled Reducing the number of slipped rows reducing columns to produce a trim, being certain as to placement on the needle bed 

This repeat produces a ruched fabric when no all knit rows are included, and a sort of “honeycomb” effect when additional color changes on all knit rows are added. The first long swatch The working repeat does not need to be symmetrical, using space-dyed yarn may result in a surface with an unrecognizable texture 

Shifting slip stitch units to form shapes If the slip stitch units begin and end with the same color knitting just before them and immediately after, the color carried on the knit side will be consistent throughout. A sure way to get the shapes to match your design is to assign a number matching the number sequence in the color changer for your machine to each of the yarn colors. Imagining the results in a spreadsheet or even graph paper Expanding each section to 8 rows, the repeat now becomes 64 rows high and allows for 3 colors to show behind the slipped stitches in the chart on the left.  On the right, the color-changing order shifts to 6 rows at a time in the sequence 1,2,3,2,1,2,3. Design row 1 would begin the piece using the color red, the last row in the repeat is blue, shifting the color then carried up the front of the piece to blue

Once the basics are understood, changes in scale and amount of ruched textures along with fiber content are easier to execute The chart for the sample below is 30 stitches wide by 84 rows high, is shown turned counterclockwise This fabric has a more compressed shape, the blocks of slipped stitches are in a vertical arrangement directly above each other. A possible building unit for similar structures:  An all knit border on either edge will automatically create a ruffle on each side.

Here the repeats on the left need to be color reversed prior to knitting, punchcard users will need to punch all white squares, leave the black ones unpunched, and repeat all once more in height. On the right, some rows are omitted, reversing the color placement for the “solid” shapes with the next knit row. 

Blocks of slipped stitches (black squares in the chart, prior to color reverse) may be used to create 2 color fabrics that have no long floats in the ground color, electronics allow for more complicated shapes

If the goal is to produce specific shapes, then the way to achieve them is to use a color separation suitable for multiple color DBJ, knitting the fabric either on the single bed. The machine does not know whether the ribber is actually in use or not. Using DBJ software build in options or even the Ayab middle color one twice merit their own future post.

Previous slip stitch-related posts
2015/04/07/more-slip-stitch-experiments/
2013/09/02/a-random-slip-stitch/
2013/05/09/block-slip-stitch-separations/

For mosaic and mazes, execution and design links to historical posts see 2020/09/21/single-bed-tuck-…s-2-adding-color/

The slip stitch setting may also be used to automate a variety of fabrics, some of which involve organized color striping as well,  the topic is discussed in other blog posts